Religion and SpiritualitySkepticism

Randi's Birthday and Homeopathic Lemonade

According to Rebecca Watson on Old Skepchick, today is James Randi’s 80th birthday!

Rebecca says that there wouldn’t have been a Skepchick without Randi and since there wouldn’t have been a Teen Skepchick without a Skepchick there wouldn’t have been a Teen Skepchick without Randi. So, if you’re reading this and enjoying it then you can thank Randi. If you’re reading this and not enjoying it then you can hold Randi responsible and get a James Randi voodoo doll to poke him with.

I first learned who James Randi is when I saw a video on YouTube called James Randi Explains Homeopathy. Go watch it. Right now. Seriously, his explanation is thorough and humourous. Reading the rest of this post simply won’t be the same without watching it. You will regret it for the rest of your life if you aren’t exposed to Randi’s amaz!ngness.

Randi did such an amazing job of explaining the pseudoscience of homeopathy that I must have re-watched it three times and I still go to YouTube to re-watch it on occassion. Shortly after watching this video I was inspired to try a bit of homeopathy on my own: homeopathic lemonade. So, in honour of his 80th birthday I’m including my recipe for homeopathic lemonade.

Materials

  1. Measuring cup (preferably with metric units, if not here’s a conversion calculator).
  2. One pitcher (one litre (L) in volume preferably) with a resealable lid.
  3. 50 millilitres (ml) of lemon juice.
  4. Tap water.

Directions

  1. Measure out 50 ml of lemon juice and pour it in the pitcher.
  2. Measure out 1/2 L of tap water and pour it in the pitcher with the lemon juice.
  3. Shake the solution ten times up and down, ten times side ways, and ten times back and forth.
  4. Open pitcher and pour out 50ml of the new solution into the measuring cup. Discard remaining water.
  5. Pour the contents of the measuring cup back into the pitcher.
  6. Measure out another 1/2 L of tap water and pour it into the pitcher.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 42 times.
  8. Set up “Homeopathic Lemonade Stand” outside your house and sell for whatever price suits you. I recommend one dollar per quarter litre. Don’t be surprised if you make a profit.

Once you have completed step number 7, pour out a glass of the homeopathic lemonade for yourself. At this point you should have one part lemon juice in 10^43 parts of water. Take a look at it. Has it retained any of the yellow colour of the lemon juice? Taste it. Has it retained any of the taste of lemon juice? If you can tell the difference between the homeopathic lemonade and a glass of ordinary tap water, you can make Randi’s (birth)day and apply for the Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge!

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3 Comments

  1. August 8, 2008 at 8:44 am —

    “Old Skepchick”????

    Hmpf. Don’t think we’re not watching you punks over here. Admittedly our hearing isn’t so good and the cataracts are clouding our eyes but… get off our lawn!

  2. Amanda
    August 8, 2008 at 9:33 am —

    Homeopathic lemonade, I love it.

  3. FFFearlesss
    August 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm —

    Even as a user of homeopathy, I do find myself skeptical of the reasoning behind why and how it works. I knew the stuff was diluted. I mean that makes sense, it’s essentially the same basic concept as a vaccine (give them a little bit of the thing that might kill them and it triggers the body to fight it off). I just didn’t realize HOW much it was diluted.

    Still, even when I first was presented with the idea, I knew it was more of an anecdotal thing than a scientifically proven thing. Still the people with the anecdotes were people I trusted pretty implicitly not to BS me. One in particular was a midwife friend who told me how she’s seen homeopathy cause breech babies to turn and help newborns (as in right out of the womb) get fluid out of their lungs and whatnot. It’s intriguing stuff even if a lot of the theory sounds hokey.

    All I know is that when I decided to switch to Ambrosia during ragweed season to combat my debilitating allergies, it really did work. Could it be placebo effect? Sure. Do I care? Not even a little. It’s better than sneezing or falling asleep because of Benadryl.

    I’m curious what anti-skeptics have had to say in response to Randi’s talks because he IS very convincing.

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